As temperatures heat up and cucumber season nears, you may be getting ready to stock up on this tasty and versatile vegetable. It's a good idea. Cucumbers are wonderfully refreshing and have a surprising array of uses. Peel them in small strips to make veggie pasta, dice with onions and tomatoes for a cooling salad, or slice and drop in a pitcher of water for a spa-worthy treat.
Why are we crazy about cucumbers? Because they're crazy good for you! Here are 12 surprising health benefits of cucumbers:
1. Stay hydrated. When going on a picnic on a hot summer day, pack cucumbers. They will keep your hydrated. According to The Huffington Post, cucumbers are composed of 95.2 percent water.
2. Lower blood pressure. Cucumbers are a surprising source of potassium. The Huffington Post says eating cucumbers regularly can lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
3. Support brain health. Cucumbers contain an important anti-inflammatory known as fisetin. This compound can help maintain cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease, explains The Huffington Post.
4. Prevent cancer. Lignans and cucurbitacins in cucumber are important for reducing a person's risk of cancer, says The Huffington Post. They work by reducing inflammation and blocking the signaling pathways cancer cells need to survive.
5. Reduce swelling. Old images of movie stars lounging with cucumbers over their eyes should not be laughed at. According to Style Craze, cucumbers really do reduce puffiness. It works because cucumbers contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, both of which reduce water retention and bring down swelling.
6. Absorb heat. Style Craze explains the cooling properties of cucumber make it a wonderful treatment for sunburn. Simply place sliced or pureed cucumber on the burn. Relax until the pain and heat subside.
7. Produce collagen. The phytochemicals in cucumber boost the body's collagen production, says Style Craze. To reduce cellulite, make a mask from cucumber juice, ground coffee, and raw honey. Apply the DIY cellulite mask to the affected area and wrap with muslin cloth. Relax for 30 minutes before exfoliating to remove the mask.
8. Increase hair shine. Improve the health of your hair by treating yourself to a cucumber juice rinse, as recommended by Style Craze. The home remedy works because cucumber is rich in shine-inducing silica.
9. Improve digestion. Cucumber seeds can help with all sorts of digestive problems, from ulcers to indigestion, says Home So Good. This is because cucumber seeds are full of water, fiber, and minerals.
10. Promote oral health. Improve your overall oral health by eating cucumbers, as suggested by Home So Good. The photo chemicals in cucumbers help remove plaque-forming bacteria from the mouth, preventing cavities and bad breath.
11. Strengthen nails. VegKitchen says the silica in cucumber can work wonders on your nails. They make the nail stronger and reduce the risk of splitting.
12. Improve joint health. The same silica that strengthens nails strengthens connective tissue and improves joint health, says VegKitchen.
What's your favorite health benefit of cucumber? Tell us when you SHARE this article on social media!